By JOHN BENSON
Special to The Gazette
MEDINA â€” When times are tough, families come together to offer support and enjoy each otherâ€™s company.
This simple idea is the driving force behind the nonprofit Stage Left Theatre Companyâ€™s debut fundraiser, â€œVaudeville Revue,â€ which takes place Jan. 30 and 31 at the Drake Center for the Arts in Medina.
Stage Left Theatre Company presents â€œVaudeville Revue,â€ a fundraiser to support the nonprofit, on Jan. 30 and 31 at the Drake Center for the Arts in Medina. (Back row, from left) David Dick, Jim Dove, Dana LaFay. (Front row, from left): Amy Dick, Kate League, Alicia Valentine and Robert Daniels. (Stage Left Theatre Company photo)
â€œLast year when we started planning this event we were in the middle of â€˜Cabaret,â€™â€ said Jennifer Dove, Stage Left Theatre Company president and executive director. â€œWe had an idea we needed to do a benefit to raise some money for Stage Left. We hadnâ€™t done one for a while, and we had all of these incredibly gifted performers with all of these diverse talents who wanted to be a part of helping us raise some money.
â€œSo we decided what better way to do that than a variety show. Itâ€™s a family-friendly show with a variety of acts. Weâ€™ve got singing, dancing, lots of comedy, magic and things like that.â€
Among the local community performers taking part in the â€œVaudeville Revueâ€ are David Dick, Jim Dove, Dana LaFay, Amy Dick, Kate League, Alicia Valentine, Robert Daniels and more.
As for what folks can expect, think your quintessential â€™60s and â€™70s television variety shows (â€œThe Dean Martin Show,â€ â€œDonny and Marieâ€) and youâ€™re in the ballpark. Some of the songs expected to be performed at the show include Vaudeville-inspired numbers â€œI Wanna Be Loved By You,â€ â€œPuttinâ€™ on the Ritzâ€ and â€œMack the Knife.â€
â€œIntentionally or not, itâ€™s vaudeville,â€ Dove said. â€œAny variety show is kind of inspired by vaudeville. So Iâ€™d say itâ€™s in that vein but ours is a little more dated to that vaudeville era.â€
Established in 2004, the Stage Left Theatre Company has become synonymous with its annual summertime â€œShakespeare in the Squareâ€ shows that take place in Uptown Park. This year the theater company is hoping to produce â€œRomeo and Juliet.â€ However, funds are tight.
â€œWeâ€™re a rather small community theater, so we donâ€™t have the financial support that some of the bigger community theaters in the area have,â€ Dove said. â€œSo we kind of do all of our fundraising ourselves. With our main production being â€˜Shakespeare in the Square,â€ which is a free event, our revenue from that is not always what you would get from having a regular show. Thatâ€™s why weâ€™re then forced to come up with other means of funding.â€
She added, â€œSince weâ€™re a little bit smaller and we do a little bit more unique, diverse entertainment than what Medina has seen for a while, we just want to keep plugging along and providing the area with some different forms of entertainment.â€
Dove promises audiences attending the â€œVaudeville Revueâ€ will leave the show in a happy mood from laughing, as well from knowing they helped a Medina County theater organization meet its fundraising goals.
â€œWe appreciate any support whether you come to the show and have a good time or if theyâ€™re unable to come,â€ Dove said. â€œWe greatly appreciate any donations that we get but we really wanted to give something to everyone who does support us to come and enjoy a really great show. Itâ€™s going to be a lot of fun and a lot of laughs.â€
The â€œVaudeville Revueâ€ takes place at 8 p.m. Jan. 30 and 31 at the Drake Center for the Arts, 222 S. Broadway, Medina. Tickets are $10. For more information, visit www.stagelefttheatre
Benson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.